Diocese Won't Appeal Damages

York Dispatch
April 17, 2006

Altoona - The Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese will not appeal a court ruling ordering it to pay $1.7 million in punitive damages to a man abused by a priest in the 1970s.

The diocese disclosed its decision in The Catholic Register, the diocese' official newspaper, The Altoona Mirror reported yesterday.

"The time has come for this sad chapter in our diocesan history to end," Bishop Joseph Adamec said.

The victim, Michael Hutchison, was molested repeatedly by the now-defrocked priest, Francis Luddy, in the 1970s.

A jury awarded Hutchison more than $500,000 in compensatory damages after a trial in the early 1980s, but the issue of punitive damages was tied up in appeals.


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